The UK government said on Friday that the rule that has barred British nationals from voting if they have lived abroad for over 15-years, will be scrapped in time for the 2020 election.
The government published its intention to ditch the unpopular law, which Britons living abroad have long fought against, by publishing a policy statement titled “Democracy that works for everyone”.
“We believe that overseas electors contribute to British society and should be given that democratic right to vote,” the constitution minister Chris Skidmore said.
“We intend to give those overseas electors the chance to register quickly and securely so they will be able to register to vote in time of the 2020 election.”
The Conservative government had pledged to scrap the rule as a pre-election promise but many long term expats living in the EU were left angered when it became clear the government would not push through the change before the crucial referendum.
Nevertheless those British citizens who had long campaigned against the injustice were happy at Friday’s announcement.
“This is great news,” says France-based Brian Cave. “We are nearly there. We shall vote at the next General Election. All those who have taken part in this long campaign will know that it was worth it and as we kept saying: ‘we will win because we are right’.
“Winston Churchill would have said: ‘This is not the end, but it could be the beginning of the end,” said Cave.
The government will now draw up a bill which must be given the green light by parliament, but all being well all Britons abroad should be able to cast a vote in 2020.
The next question is will they give Brits abroad our own MPs?
Article source: https://www.thelocal.fr/20161007/britain-to-give-all-citizens-living-abroad-right-to-vote